February 2015

Monthly Archives

Care Act 2014 – Adult Safeguarding Briefing Sessions

Sandwell Safeguarding Adults BoardSandwell Safeguarding Adults Board will be holding a series of briefing sessions to update everyone working with adults at risk in Sandwell on the changes that will affect their practice when the Care Act becomes statutory from April 2015.


The sessions will be held at:
Coneygre Centre, Sedgley Road East, Tipton DY4 8UH

At the following dates and times:
Monday 9 March
3 sessions   9.30 – 11.00, 11.30 – 13.00, 14.00 – 15.30
Monday 16 March
2 sessions   13.30 – 15.00, 15.30 – 17.00
Tuesday 17 March
2 sessions   13.30 – 15.00, 15.30 – 17.00

Each session will last about one and a half hours and will cover:

  • Changes for adult safeguarding because of the introduction of the Care Act 2014
  • 6 principles of adult safeguarding
  • Enquiry by the local authority
  • Safeguarding Adults Boards
  • Safeguarding Adults Reviews
  • Information sharing, confidentiality and record keeping
  • Changes in the way you report safeguarding concerns
  • 10 new categories of abuse and neglect
  • Carers and adult safeguarding
  • Regional West Midlands Adult safeguarding procedures and local Practice Guidance

Attendance at a briefing session is considered mandatory for all therefore we urge you to book as soon as possible by calling the SSAB Business Support Team on 0845 352 7619 to reserve your space on a session.
For further information call Will Williams or Sukbinder Gill on 0845 352 7611 or 7612.

Right to Rent Pilot – Voluntary Sector Engagement Event

WMSMPWest Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership will be hosting a second evaluation event for the Home Office to engage with the voluntary sector on the above pilot.



An event is being held on 3rd March, 1 – 3.30pm.  At the event there will be:

  • An update on the progress of the evaluation
  • Information on the upcoming ‘pulse check’ surveys
  • An opportunity to give feedback on the impact of the scheme to date
  • Q&A with Home Office staff

To register please contact Rubina at rubina.ahmed@birmingham.gov.uk

From 1st December 2014, private landlords across Birmingham, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall will be required to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. Landlords who rent to illegal migrants without conducting these checks will be liable to civil penalty action.  www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice

Home Office Science will evaluate the first phase of the scheme from December 2014 to May 2015, focusing on the impact of the scheme on tenants, landlords and the wider community and the  process of the scheme and how this could be improved.

Adult Services Commissioning Event

Consultation - Local IntelligenceThe passage of the Care Act 2014 heralds a long-anticipated modernisation of social care for vulnerable people. Due to come into force from April 2015, it will bring new duties for local authorities and new rights for service users and carers; along with new opportunities for providers.

An event is being held on Monday 23rd March 2015 from 9am to 1pm at Sandwell Council House.

This event will outline key components of the Act and examine the challenges ahead to implement the Care Act and what this will mean for organisations who deliver services for this group of adults within Sandwell.

The event will also offer a question and answer session concerning key issues, with a chance to meet the Adult Services Commissioning Team and Senior Staff.

Key objectives of the day are to:

  • Outline how Sandwell Adult Services are preparing for the implementation of the Care Act
  • Demonstrate the potential for joint working to shape the Adult Social Care market.
  • Develop a platform for closer partnership working and Co- production within the Adult Social Care market

Target Audience for Event

Numbers are limited for the event and is aimed at key statutory and voluntary sector stakeholders who are able to influence their organisation at a senior level.

To reserve your place for the event, please email ASC_Admin@sandwell.gov.uk no later than Friday the 13th of March 15.

Please note places are strictly limited to two per organisation. If the event is substantially oversubscribed a reserve list will form the basis of running the session again.

Free Workshop on Social Investment

Governance - Business Team PlanningSocial Investment and Social Finance is a growing and complex area that Social Enterprise and Third Sector organisations need to get to grips with.

School for Social Entrepreneurs West Midlands are bringing together key funders and investors plus social entrepreneurs who have been there to explain, in simple practical terms, what it is, how to decide if it’s right for you and how to get it. It is a hands on, plain English, practical session.

You will hear from and be able to discuss this with Social Investment Business Foundation, Cabinet Office, CAF Venturesome, Aston Reinvestment Trust, Lloyds Bank, Charity Bank, Citizen Coaching, Start Again CIC, Harris & Harris, Cultiv8 and Trident Housing Association.

Taking place on Wednesday 4 March in central Birmingham. It’s free but places are limited so book online today.

Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur Start Up Programme

SSEWMApplications are coming in thick and fast for the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur Start Up programme. This fully funded programme offers 14 days of support over a 12 month period to help you turn your idea into a reality. The programme costs you nothing to attend plus you get a £4,000 grant from the Big Lottery to help get you started.

Don’t delay, request an application pack now.

Not Sure?

There is a second taster session in Birmingham and this time covering both Start Up and Scale Up programmes.

•  Start Up is aimed at projects that are less than 2 years old with income below £25k.  This comes with a grant of £4k.  They are running two groups (42 places) on this in the Midlands starting in October 2015.

•  Scale Up is aimed at more established social entrepreneurs who have been around for over 2 years, have income in excess of £25k and want to grow their enterprise.  This comes with a development grant of £15k but runs in London & Liverpool only.

There is also still space on a Start Up taster session in Derby on 11th March.  Please view to book a place.

Community Education Academy of Leadership – Trustee Vacancies

post - consultation - group meetingCommunity Education Academy of Leadership (CEAL) is a registered charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee based in the West Midlands.  CEAL’s mission is to “offer world class Leadership support services to all sections of the community including young people’’. The charity’s aims are realised through dedicated project work supported by various grant making bodies and provision of educational services to disadvantaged communities in the West Midlands and its surrounding environs.

CEAL are looking for  a suitable person to act as a trustee for their dynamic strategic board.  CEAL’s AGM is being held in the near  future and they would welcome a candidate who  can offer a strategic direction  to the charity which will help them to fulfil its aims and objectives.    An expertise in funding applications will be desirable.

CEAL are looking to recruit at least 2 Trustees with the following skills:-
Grant applications, income generation and knowledge and experience of financial management, Marketing/publicity and school linkages, Heritage Preservation experience, Civic Affairs, Training and Development, Accounting, Legal Matters and Community Education.

If you are interested in these positions, please contact Harminder Kaur Bhogal (Strategic Development Manager for CEAL) Telephone:  07891479255   or email: r82ceal@gmail.cmo
Closing Date: 20 March 2015

Right to Rent Scheme Evaluation

InternetThe Home Office is asking for the Voluntary and Community sector’s (VCS) help with the evaluation of phase one of the Right to Rent scheme. Please find below a message from the Home Office Right to Rent Evaluation Team.

From 1 December 2014, private landlords, and their nominated agents, of properties in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, will be required to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. The Home Office is evaluating the scheme’s impact and will produce a final report in late 2015. The conclusions from the evaluation will help to ensure that issues that arise in implementing the scheme are identified and areas of improvement before it is rolled out nationally. The final report will not disclose any identifiable information or individual responses.

As part of the evaluation a number of surveys are being conducted with the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in the areas affected by the right to rent scheme. The first survey was conducted in December which has provided useful information regarding the awareness of the scheme amongst the VCS and any anticipated concerns or benefits you had regarding the scheme. Thank you to all those who took part in the first survey.

A second survey is now being conducted which contains no more than 20 questions and will help to understand what your experience of the Right to Rent scheme is and the impact you think it is having.

The scheme won’t be relevant to lots of groups and organisations, however, if your group or organisation works with, or represents, people who might be affected by the scheme then we hope you can complete the survey by 15 March 2015.

The are especially concerned to get views from Housing Associations on the scheme, because there may be impacts on housing associations tenancies (for example where social housing tenants have lodgers or sublet their property).

Please contact Miriam.davidson@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or rebecca.linley@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk if you have any queries about this evaluation.

Investing in Sandwell – Please Give Your Input

Online SurveyM-E-L Research – an independent social research organisation based in Birmingham – have been commissioned by Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations to undertake a research study to gather information and insight from its members to capture the economic picture, social value of the sector, and the uniqueness and diversity of Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector.

SCVO is in no doubt that the Sector makes a significant contribution to Sandwell’s economy and that organisations work collaboratively in both the third and the public sector to provide services that really do make a difference.

M-E-L Research have strict Data Protection policies and procedures and have been given permission to contact all organisation on SCVO’s database (with e-mail addresses) in order that they can send out an ‘e-survey’.  SCVO really hope that you can take the time to be part of this important study – we really value your opinion and input as members, and will make sure that your voice is heard.

If you don’t receive an e-mail but are a voluntary organisation based or working in Sandwell you can access and complete the survey from this link

If you have any queries regarding this project, Jayne Francis, the Senior Consultant working on this Project is happy to talk to you.  She can be contacted on 0121 604 4664 or e-mail: jayne.francis@m-e-l.co.uk

Awards for All Update

Funding 1Do you have an idea for a project, but you just need that extra little bit of support to get your application at its best?

The Awards for All team have been busy analysing past applications and have compiled a handy list of the top 8 most common mistakes to avoid when applying to Awards for All. If you want to get your application off to the best possible start, have a read of these and get your project assessed on its merits, not its mistakes.

• Contacts not being suitable; ensure your senior contact is able to be legally responsible for any grant we may offer.
• The main and senior contact being the same person.
• Home addresses, dates of birth and landlines not included for both contacts, which includes schools.
• If you are a company, the senior contact needs to be registered as one of at least three unrelated directors at Companies House.
• If you are a registered charity, the senior contact needs to be listed as a trustee and there should be at least three unrelated trustees registered at the Charity Commission.
• The name and address of the organisation not matching what is registered at the Charity Commission or Companies House – we do check this.
• The bank account name not being the same as your organisation’s name.
• The organisation’s incomings and outgoings not being provided.

If you have a great idea for a project and think you might be eligible for funding, please see the Awards for All website for more information. Any arts, heritage or sports activities that do not meet one or more of the Awards for All key outcomes should apply for funding from another source. If you have any questions about your application, please call the Big Advice Line on 08454 10 20 30.

Children’s Centres in Sandwell Celebrating Good OFSTED Rating

FChildren's Centresour children’s centres in Sandwell are celebrating getting ‘Good’ ratings in their recent Ofsted inspections.  Burnt Tree Children’s Centre, Great Bridge Children’s Centre and Tipton Children’s Centre make up the children’s centre cluster of Tipton and were all rated as ‘Good’.  These centres are run on behalf of the Council by Murray Hall Community Trust.

The inspectors found these centres are offering families a quality service.  Children benefit from good quality early learning activities held at the centres.  As a consequence, when they start school, they are very well prepared for learning and make good progress.

Children’s Centre Cluster Manager, Lynsey Matthews said “we are delighted to have been awarded a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted.  It is a testament to all the hard work and efforts of the staff in running the children’s centres and is well deserved.  We are very proud that our family centred approach has been recognised.  This report is a great tribute to the staff, parents and carers, children and our advisory board”

The Young Parents’ Children’s Centre is the other centre to be given a ‘good’ rating.  This centre works with young parents across the whole of Sandwell and staff often go to homes to offer support.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with the staff who provide good quality care, guidance and support to families.  They also acknowledged that parents speak highly of the centre.



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